Everyone that does business with the Russians has found that they are not trustworthy. Is there any major Western company that has not been forced to sell their joint venture investment or get out of the business relationship after they have helped the Russians develop the project.
Shell management is showing some stupidity in my opinion. I do not know any business from the West that has had a good long term relationship. If there is a dispute who is going to win the dispute in the Russian court system. Of course Russian law is subject to change to be whatever benefits the powers in control.
This deal with Gazprom (Russian co.) will probably not bring profitable money in, in the short term. But, it will have a tremendous benefit if wells are successful to make the touted reserves of the north sea--"PROVEN RESERVES", Which will greatly enhance the value of RDS holdings in the same area.